*This feature is not sponsored or paid for in any way by Eco Cheeks or any other invested party
Toilet paper - another one of those everyday items with a massive impact on the environment that we tend to overlook. Apart from the trees that have to be cut down to make them, there’s the bleaching to make them white, the packaging, the transport, etc. It’s a lot for something you just use to wipe when you do number twos. If that bothers you, maybe it’s time to give new Australian startup Eco Cheeks a shot. They offer 100% bamboo pulp-made, unbleached toilet paper for all of your bathroom needs.
The first thing you’ll notice about their products is that they are not white. We’re so used to seeing clean, snow white toilet paper and tissue products that this can be quite jarring initially. However, the core of the Eco Cheeks brand is that they have zero chemicals in their products. That means no bleaching, which, when you really think about it, is unnecessary for something we use to wipe our bums. Their products are also cruelty-free and vegan, however, being new, they do not have independent certifications just yet.
Eco Cheeks have just recently launched in September, with their first batch of presale orders reaching customers’ doors in early October. We spoke to founder Tanya Roberts to get to know this fresh, new brand bringing beige toilet paper into the Australian market.
Eco Cheeks is a standalone startup registered as The Nature Calls Co. Pty Ltd. Founder Tanya Roberts started the company after having her son Alfred motivated her to purge unnecessary toxins in her household and live a more sustainable lifestyle to create a safer environment for him.
INGREDIENTS & RAW MATERIALS
Eco Cheeks toilet rolls and tissue paper wraps are made of 100% bamboo pulp, which is FSC certified. The product contains zero chlorine and any other form of bleach. And yes, other toilet paper brands use elemental chlorine free bleaching methods. However, Eco Cheeks just chooses to forego the whole thing as, again, it’s not really needed for something you’ll flush anyway.
Eco Cheeks uses bamboo in its products because they felt it was the most sustainable alternative to knocking down forest trees for toilet paper. (Fun fact: 15% of deforestation is due to toilet paper production) This is because it’s a fast-growing plant, with some species capable of growing up to 1.2 meters in a day, that can be harvested year on year for up to 70 years. No waiting for 30 years to grow a tree only to cut it down for toilet paper, then start again. It’s also a hardy plant that can be grown without pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizer, and requires 30% less water than hardwood trees.
Bamboo fibers are also good toilet paper materials because of other factors. Bamboo fibers are long and strong, making them softer than fibers from recycled paper or wood fiber. According to Eco Cheeks, because bamboo is naturally hypo-allergenic, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial, it’s ideal to use for something that we clean ourselves with.
Eco Cheeks wants zero chemicals in their products so, they have opted not to use recycled paper to make them. This is because recycled paper can be quite chemical-intensive because of its initial manufacturing, as well as the process it needs to go through to be ready for use again.
Eco Cheeks products are also vegan - no animal-derived ingredients are used throughout the manufacturing or packaging of these products.
SOURCING & MANUFACTURING
The bamboo that Eco Cheeks uses to make its products is farmed from the Sichuan province of China where it is naturally abundant and supports the rural communities through co-operatives.
As much as they want to be Australian-made, the implications of manufacturing in Australia would mean that “the end product would not be economically viable.” So they meticulously selected a manufacturer in Shandong, China, who has “a solid understanding and experience with environmentally safe production, packaging, and printing.” The manufacturer specialises in the production and exporting of paper products like toilet paper and tissues and has +10 years of experience. They also focus on reducing environmental impact while creating green products.
They also hold the following certifications:
ISO 9001 international quality management system certification
ISO 14001 international environmental management system certification
BSCI international social responsibility management system certification
FSC international forest management system certification (including bamboo pulp products)
They are Australian-owned, strive to create Australian jobs, and support Australian charities. However, to create a product that would not cause deforestation, they have had to source and manufacture overseas.
PACKAGING & RECYCLING OPTIONS
The cartons and thank you cards that Eco Cheeks uses are all made of recycled cardboard and printed with soy-based inks. Their individually wrapped rolls are wrapped with FSC tissue paper printed with soy-based inks. They also use kraft paper based packaging tape as their packaging adhesive. They use a grand total of zero plastic in their packaging, and everything, including their roll cores, are biodegradable and recyclable. Their wraps are also designed with reuse in mind. The logo and information on their packaging can be cut off and have the wraps still be usable for gift wrapping, crafts, or anything else you might think of.
GIVING BACK & ADVOCACY
Being a new company, there is no data or record of previous charitable contributions or partnerships for Eco Cheeks yet. However, they have partnered with the Starlight Children’s Foundation and will be supporting them moving forward.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSIVITY
Likewise, as they have just launched, there is no data on the company’s diversity yet.
We love seeing startups open up with sustainability at the forefront of their business. Having started this because of a desire to reduce unnecessary chemicals in her home, founder Tanya has made sure that we also don’t have other nasties attached to our Eco Cheeks products in the form of dodgy business practices. So, if you’re in Australia, love the idea of sustainable toilet paper, and don’t mind it not being a crisp white, head over to their website and try them out. With their 120% guarantee, we don’t think you’ll have any issues.
Eco Cheeks is available in Australia.